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The mother who beat pregnant Myleene to making an exhibition of herself

It might not be everybody's idea of art, but Anna Murphy likes her cast of her baby bump on display on the mantelpiece.

The 38-year-old was a trend setter for celebrities such as Myleene Klass and had the belly cast mould made a few weeks before she gave birth to twins Lola and Cristiano, now seven.

'I had the cast made because I wanted to capture my pregnancy appearance,' she explained.

I was having twins and was very big. Seeing it in a 3D way rather than as a photo was brilliant.

'It has become a unique piece of art in my home. It is a lovely piece.

'It is in the children's nursery but everyone who comes around goes in to have a look,' added the financial PA, who lives in Essex with her 42-year-old husband Mark.
Recently, the children asked me to put the cast on to show them how I looked when I was pregnant.

'It still fitted and they were amazed they had lived inside my stomach.

'It doesn't surprise me that Myleene Klass and more and more women are having casts made of their stomachs when they are pregnant.'

'I now buy a kit for every expectant mother I know so they can have one made for themselves,' she added.
Ready for show: The casts are often decorated and used for display

After: Anna has decorated her cast and it hangs in her children's nursery

Belly casting has become increasingly popular of late, according to professional caster Juliann Rubijono.

'There's a different attitude toward motherhood than there was when I was pregnant almost 20 years ago,' she explained.

'I felt awkward – we covered ourselves up a lot more in the early Nineties and late Eighties. Now women are proud to be pregnant. They embrace it.'

Most of those who take a cast do so two to six weeks before their due date. The entire process can take up to an hour-and-a half.

You can easily do it yourself, with a belly casting kit, on sale for as little as £20.

Vaseline is applied to the body, to allow the cast to be removed easily. Then strips of cloth are dipped in plaster and smeared across the body.

It usually starts to dry within ten minutes. However, many women enlist the help of a professional instead, which can cost hundreds of pounds.

Among the celebrities who have joined in the fun is Klass.

Just weeks before she gives birth to her second child, the 32-year-old TV presenter has made a belly cast to preserve her bump for posterity.

She has yet to reveal what she plans to do with the finished article. But it seems unlikely she'll hide it in the attic.

Perhaps she'll take a lead from mothers who have painted their casts and hung them on the wall for all to see. Some women even dare to use their casts as fruit bowls.
Miss Klass revealed her exhibitionist bent when she posted up a picture of herself on her Twitter page with her tummy covered in plaster of Paris.

She then wrote on the site afterwards: 'Chaos. Plaster got stuck down the sink. Cue flood.'

Of course, we already knew that Miss Klass has few qualms about showing off her body. In 2007 she modelled a white bikini for a Marks & Spencer advertising campaign.

Then she appeared naked on the cover of Glamour magazine while she was pregnant with her daughter Ava, now three, recreating actress Demi Moore's controversial pose in 1991 for Vanity Fair.

She is expecting her second girl with partner Graham Quinn later this month.
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